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Recruiting Rumor Mill: Latest on uncommitted 2022 5-stars

Domani Jackson
Domani Jackson

The Recruiting Rumor Mill is back this week with an updated look at the uncommitted 2022 five-star prospects. There has been some significant movement in recent weeks as their recruitments come into focus.

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ALSO: Oklahoma, Georgia lead early preseason top 10 for 2021 season

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

MORE COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series

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With Korey Foreman signed and delivered to USC - along with the strong possibility that former LSU linebacker commit Raesjon Davis joins this Trojans class during the late period - there is a wave of elite players heading to USC, and it looks good for Jackson as well. Nothing has been finalized yet, and Jackson is still working with a top six of Arizona State, Clemson, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC. The Buckeyes could be the most interesting competition, and it’s too early to know whether Texas could make a run now that Steve Sarkisian is there. Probably not at this point.

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The situation with Harris remains fluid because Texas has looked strong in his recruitment for a long time, but that’s also when Tom Herman was the coach and the five-star defensive back was familiar with that staff. Sarkisian will be starting over in Harris’ recruitment, but the word is that the Houston (Texas) North Shore standout has always had a thing for the Longhorns. Ohio State is going to get a serious run, as will LSU and possibly Alabama and others as well.

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When it comes to Nolen, everything is up in the air. A big question right now is whether he stays at Cordova (Tenn.) St. Benedict in the coming years. Tennessee has been high on Nolan’s list (former Vols linebacker Marlon Walls is his current coach), but his level of interest could be altered if there’s a coaching change in Knoxville. Ohio State is definitely one to watch - it's a secure situation at an elite program that develops top-notch defensive linemen. And then there are the big-time SEC schools Alabama, LSU and Georgia that will stay involved, too. A lot can still happen here.

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The feeling is that Texas A&M has a healthy lead for Alexander since the coaching staff targeted him early and assistant coaches Terry Price and Elijah Robinson have tag-teamed this recruitment, which shows how much the Aggies want him in this class. A similar recruiting strategy was used on high four-star DE Shemar Turner in the 2021 class and Texas A&M landed him. Alexander is a huge target for the Aggies in this recruiting class, and while Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Alabama and others are going to be involved, A&M has the edge.

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The regulars - Alabama, Florida State and Miami - are still involved with Armella. He’s close to Coral Gables, some family would like to see him play for the Seminoles and the five-star seems to know the Crimson Tide could continue to develop him into an elite offensive tackle. But watch out, too, for LSU because he wants to visit and position coach James Cregg has been recruiting him hard. Armella is flirting with the idea of taking officials to USC and Oregon, among other far-off locales, but this looks like a Southeast battle to the end.

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It’s becoming ever more clear that this could be a Clemson versus North Carolina battle to the end, and it has important implications for both teams. The Tigers went into the state in the 2021 class and cherry-picked North Carolina’s top two players, and they are going to be back to try to land Shaw and others. Coach Mack Brown and his staff in Chapel Hill have done a great job turning that program around quickly, but keeping the best players home is important. Shaw will be one of those battleground recruits.

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Johnson has said he plans to make his decision at any time after he visits USC and that means the Trojans, Michigan and Ohio State are all on the top tier. Johnson is a friend of fellow five-star Domani Jackson, so the Trojans are definitely interesting, but so is Ohio State, one of Johnson’s other finalists. His dad played at Michigan, so the Wolverines are a player. Arizona State and Oklahoma are in his top five, but both seem like long shots at this point.

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When visits are possible again, Dewberry wants to hit the road, and there are three schools in particular that he wants to see: Ohio State, Oklahoma and Georgia. Those three schools are standing out, along with Texas A&M and LSU. Georgia could be making a move, since that has not been a school as regularly involved with Dewberry, but a visit to Athens could be big. The feeling is that Texas A&M could have the edge, even heading into those visits, but the Aggies will get challenged by some other powers.

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On Jan. 3, Rice released a one-minute hype video in which the five-star offensive tackle said he could commit at any time. The intriguing part is at the end, where Rice calls four-star OL Gunner Givens and asks if he’s ready to make this move. But Rice has a top eight of LSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia and Ohio State and many believe Givens is leaning toward Clemson. For Rice, it feels like Notre Dame, North Carolina, Virginia and Ohio State have the slight edge, so Givens could be pulling a surprise if the two plan to play together - or maybe t’s a head fake to throw people off Rice’s scent.

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Rivals Midwest analyst Josh Helmholdt just talked to Mathews during the Elite Underclassmen Camp in Florida, and the five-star said he considered committing to LSU during his sophomore year, but he decided to hold off and is now seriously considering other options. Mississippi State is a school that intrigues him, but also watch out for Texas A&M. It’s not expected that former Ponchatoula teammate T.J. Finley’s early struggles at LSU will be a negative at all in Mathews’ recruitment.

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Coleman watched the national championship. He saw Alabama’s offense march up and down the field, and he’s interested. The five-star athlete from St. Louis (Mo.) St. Mary’s said the Crimson’s Tide’s performance was “expected,” and it showed “their skill set separation from other schools in every category like strength, football knowledge, etc., and it was a big influence.” Coleman will want the ball in his hands and Alabama could be making a major move, but he still has a top 13.

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Ohio State already has three fantastic linebacker commits in the 2022 class in five-star CJ Hicks and high four-stars Dasan McCullough and Gabe Powers. But the word is that won’t scare off the five-star Murphy, who has had the Buckeyes high on his list from the beginning. Former teammate Tyleik Williams, a four-star DT who signed with Ohio State in its 2021 class, is working hard on getting Murphy locked up, as are some other Buckeye commits. Alabama could be surging up the list, especially after the national title game, and Penn State and Georgia are trying to stay in it as well.